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December 11, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-11

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, December 11, 1980--Page 5
Conservation poses problems for policy-makers

Who should pay to make buildings
energy efficient?
The responsibilities of tenants, lan-
dlords, and owners in the effort to con-
serve energy, is just one of the
questions facing the Ann Arbor Energy
Steering Committee, a group charged
with devising an energy plan for the
"There are all sorts of problems here
with no easy solutions," committee
member Marsha Barton said recently.
"Some people think we don't need
regulation," she said. "I'm personally
in favor of mandatory controls. How
else do you get landlords to insulate

properties when they don't have to pay
"Why should tenants pay to retrofit
property that is not their own? And yet,
if we create regulations requiring the
landlord to pay, rents could go up as a
result," she observed. A retrofit is a
property alteration that conserves
On the other hand, committee mem-
ber Ed Smith said he is against conser-
vation regulations.
"You can create incentives to finance
home conservation improvements if
you make financing available and at-
tractive," he said at a recent steering
committee meeting.

CHAIRMAN OF the committee's
Government Operations Task Force
Bill Duddleson commented, "The
question is, can an ordinance be
designed thatwould be effective?"
While it is almost impossible to
regulate what people do by habit or
custom, he said, the city can regulate
structural factors. "And I think energy
falls under this kind of clause," he ad-
Duddleson said he thinks' the city
should pass an ordinance requiring in-
sulation and other retrofit measures in
buildings when they are sold.
THE STEERING committee, which
includes citizens and city and Univer-

sity officials, will attempt to devise a
comprehensive energy plan for the city
by April 1981.
The committee will oversee the work
of several task forces studying ways the
city might save energy. The areas un-
der scrutiny include land use,
renewable energy resources, transpor-
tation, city government operations, and
A preliminary plan was proposed to
the city council last January which
suggested conservation measures such
as car pools, solar power, hydro-
electric power, and waste recovery.
The committee will present a final ver-
sion of the plan to council next April.

The total cost of the program will be
approximately $118,000, to be funded
through federal, state, and local sour-
ces. Council has already pumped
$17,000 into the energy plan.
Some of the recommendations the
group presents to Council will be based
upon a recent Michigan Energy Ad-
ministration survey which examined
the attitudes and awareness of Ann Ar-
bor residents on energy usage issues,
according to Community Development
planner Larry Friedman.
Although the survey indicated
residents are willing to conserve, only
19 percent said they had actually made
home conservation improvements.

Friedman said this suggests many
residents are not yet willing to make
major investments in energy conser-
Also, approximately 83 percent of the
respondents said they are willing to
change their daily travel habits to save
energy, but only 67 percent said their
travel habits had actually changed,.
Friedman noted.
However, 95 percent of those sur-
veyed reported they turned off lights at
home to save energy. Eighty-two per-
cent said they turn their thermostats
down every day, and approximately 70
percent said they tried to reduce the use
of electrical appliances each week.


Conservation vital to cii

(Continued from Page 1)
Other programs include an energy
analysis of city buildings, vehicles, and
street lighting, and a contingency plan
to maintain essential city services in
the event of future energy shortages.
But according to Steve McCarger,
Staff Coordinator of the Ann Arbor
Ecology Center, a curbside recycling
service is the city's most practical
alternative at this time.
"No high-technology alternative
energy source will become cost-
effective during the first half of this
decade," McCarger explained. "In the
meantime, our best answer is curbside
pickup of recyclables - this offers
retrieval of 30 to 40 percent of all the
waste currently going into the landfill."
UNDER A program called Recycle,
Ann Arbor, McCarger said, ap-
proximately 20 percent of all city
residents currently place their
newspapers, glass containers, and
aluminum cans out on the curb,
separately marked and packaged for
"This kind of program has great,
potential," McCarger commented. "It
is working successfully in other cities -
now we're serving twice as many
people as when we started in 1978."
The city also has received funding for
energy-saving public and private home
repair programs.
"THERE ARE four things to take in-
to consideration when you're talking
about retrofitting existing buildings to
make them more energy efficient,"
Greg Metz, a student in the University
School of Engineering, advised the Ann
Arbor Energy Steering Committee. The
cdommittee, composed of citizens, and
ctypand University tifficials, :was for-
med last April *to .develop a cost-
effective community energy work plan.

"The first step is a 'quick fix' retrofit
program," Metz explained, that would
include superficial remedies. Then, he
told the group, maintenance and
heating systems should be checked for
He urged investigation into building
or system modifications which,
although costly at first, would prove
cost-effective in the long run.
USING SIMILAR methods, the
University has cut energy'costs 18 per-
cent since 1973, according to Weiden-
In 1973, the University purchased two
new generators to increase the output
of the central power plant which
provides electricity for the plant depar-
tment and athletic campus areas.
"The generators proved so efficient
that it only takes 4,000 BTU's to produce
one kilowatt hour while the average
plant requires about 10,000 BTUs,"
Weidenbach explained. "The project
paid for itself in savings in less than,
five years."/
AT THE SAME time, the director
said, the University initiated a "quick
fix" program that produced con-
siderable savings. "We removed a lot of
lamps, adjusted time clocks in fans so

they would turn off after hours, and
worked on doors -and windows,"
Weidenbach said.
In 1974 the University commissioned
a study to look into a central environ-
mental control system. Implemented in
1976, the $850,000 system now services
20 campus buildings, starting and stop-
ping utility operations and mechanical
systems more efficiently by remote
Weidenbach said this system-com-
bined with a campus-wide light bulb
removal program, and overhauls of
everything from space heaters to
shower heads in residence
halls-resulted in an overall savings of
$2.5 million for the 1980 fiscal year.
With the help of about $348,000 in
federal frants, Weidenbach said the
University is working to retrofit several
campus buildings, including the un-
dergraduate and graduate libraries,
the School of Education, and School of
Public Health.
"WE'RE ALSO working with the ad-
ministration to see if we can reduce the
cost of operating Crisler Arena," he
Weidenbach said some old University
buildings, such as the chenistry

building, are actually more energy
cost-efficient than new buildings
because at the time they were built they
did not have to subscribe to today's
strict health and ventilation standards
which are energy cost-consuming.
For example, he said it may prove
difficult to construct a new air-
conditioned medical center facility at
the same energy consumption level as
University Hospital, which was built in
the 1920's without air conditioning.
Other energy-saving projects which
may soon be initiated include installing
individual meters at the Northwood
Apartment complex located on North
Campus for consumers to guage their
energy consumption.
Tomorrow: A look at city and Univer-
sity plans for future energv nroduction.

Q Family Fun & Entert
A French Christmas
December 11 7pm Power Center
PTP Ticket Office - Michigan League M F, 10 -1 & 2 5
Phone (313) 764 0450

F F . ' :.:


One hundred yards east of the
- Century Plaza Hotel is the
a' ~Southern California

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